Using Expert Knowledge Effectively: Lessons from Species Distribution Models for Wildlife Conservation and Management

  • Chris J. Johnson
  • Michael Hurley
  • Eric Rapaport
  • Michael Pullinger


The spatial and temporal relationships between organisms and their environments are fundamental to both theoretical and applied ecology. The heterogeneous distribution of organisms in space and time will influence most ecological relationships, including predation, competition, and resource use, and, ultimately, population dynamics and evolution (Turchin 1996). Recognizing that the science and practice of ecology involves a consideration of spatial processes, much recent research has focused on formally representing and quantifying the spatial and temporal relationships between organisms and their environments (Morales et al. 2010). One prominent area of investigation for landscape ecologists has been the development of statistical models and associated analyses that empirically represent those relationships (Elith and Leathwick 2009). This set of methods has become known as “species distribution models” (SDMs). Guisan and Thuiller (2005) define SDMs as “… empirical models relating field observations to environmental predictor variables, based on statistically or theoretically derived response surfaces.”


Analytical Hierarchy Process Expert Knowledge Species Distribution Model Rating Table Elicitation Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris J. Johnson
    • 1
  • Michael Hurley
    • 2
  • Eric Rapaport
    • 3
  • Michael Pullinger
    • 4
  1. 1.Ecosystem Science and Management ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.The Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Architecture and Planning, School of PlanningDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  4. 4.School of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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